NEWS1 February 2024

Commercial radio listening grows in Q4

Media News UK

UK – Commercial radio gained an additional million weekly listeners in the fourth quarter of 2023, according to figures released by radio industry body Rajar.


The figures showed that 39.1 million people listen to commercial radio every week in the fourth quarter of 2023, up from 38.1 million in the same period in 2022.

The rise means there has been a 10% increase in commercial radio listeners over the past five years, with total hours listened to growing by 19%.

Commercial radio, according to Rajar, now has 7.8 million more listeners than the BBC, up from 4.8 million in the fourth quarter in 2022, with commercial radio’s share of listening hours up to 54.8% compared to 43.2% at the BBC.

Commercial radio listening on smart speakers grew to a record level of 17.7%, up from 17.1% in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Total combined digital listening is now 72% of all radio listening, predominantly DAB, which accounts for 42.7% of the total, and online, which is 25.6%.

Analogue platforms now account for 28% of all listening time, which is down from 33.4% in the last three months of 2022.

The combined weekly audience for all radio platforms in the UK was at 49.5 million people, representing 88% of the adult population.

Radiocentre’s chief executive Matt Payton said: “These latest audience figures show that radio remains in good health. Despite an increasingly fragmented media landscape, commercial radio is bigger than ever and continues to deliver a growing audience which couldn’t be better news for advertisers.

“As the Media Bill continues to progress through parliament, the record numbers tuning in online and via smart speakers also reminds us just how important the radio elements of the legislation will be for stations and their devoted listeners.”